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‘United In That Passion For Events & Music’: Movin’ On Executive Director Leading Festival For Second Year

Building relationships around the music and events industry has encompassed the last four years for Sofia Moussan.

Moussan is a senior public relations major who has been tasked with running the last two Movin’ Ons, Penn State’s annual year-end music festival, as its executive director.

“My role is I oversee the entire festival. That includes our executive board, which is made up of 11 people, and then they oversee our core team,” Moussan said.

Sifting through emails from the Bellisario College of Communications Assistant Dean for Internship and Career Placement Bob Martin, Moussan discovered Movin’ On, and the rest was history. Moussan started her Movin’ On journey with the basics, earning a job on the promotions team as a freshman.

As a sophomore, Moussan took over as the director of operations, joining the team’s executive board. For the last two years, she has been in charge of the entire festival as its executive director.

“I didn’t know what [Movin’ On] was, but I saw that it was a student-run music festival, which really piqued my interest because I always wanted to get involved in live entertainment,” Moussan said. “And I knew that at Penn State there wasn’t a degree really for that. So I knew I’d have to get that experience somehow through my involvement and experience.”

Last year’s Movin’ On was a whirlwind for Moussan and her team. Since it was the then-junior’s first time running the end-of-the-year festival, Moussan took little time to enjoy herself.

Moussan recalls spending the entire night and the buildup in the weeks before only focusing on making sure everything ran smoothly. This time around, the public relations major plans to soak in the moment.

“The really nice thing has been that I’m not worried about every little thing that I’m doing because I’ve been through it before and that really has left room for me to help propel the org as much as I can and actually focus on growth,” Moussan said.

Moussan has learned a lot from her team and the various liaisons at her disposal. Combine that with her experiences from last year and she can focus on the little things to make Movin’ On 2024 a hit.

Unlike most graduating seniors at the end of their final semester at Penn State, Moussan has been busy every day, finalizing every last detail ahead of Friday, April 26.

“But I’m working at this time a lot on finalizing contracts, making sure that all our vendors get paid, that our agreements with the artists coming are all finalized as well as making sure our merch orders are confirmed,” Moussan said. “It’s definitely a lot of wrap-up work.”

Movin’ On 2024 will be headlined by Dayglow with performances from Sexyy Red, Freddie Gibbs, and the 502s. For a student-run organization, Movin’ On has a knack for pulling in big-time artists to Happy Valley.

Deciding on, booking, and contracting the artists is a year-long process for the entire team. The main goal is to try to please as many people as possible with its selections.

“Right immediately as the previous Movin’ On ends, we start brainstorming artists for the next year,” Moussan said. “And booking starts in the early fall.”

Moussan does it for all the Penn State students who are leaving State College in just a week. Seeing everyone have a good time and enjoy themselves makes the entire year of preparation worth it.

“You’ve put so much time into this one event. And all you want is for people to come and enjoy themselves. So I always try to take my five minutes during Movin’ On to just like walk around and see people enjoying themselves,” Moussan said.

Other than those five minutes of soaking in the moment, Moussan will be the busiest person at the music festival this Friday. There will be plenty of emotions and feelings keeping her and her team going.

“I feel I think it’s a mix of pride and adrenaline, maybe mixed in with a little bit of energy drink in there,” Moussan joked.

After Movin’ On concludes, all of the concertgoers return home, and seniors reminisce on their four years spent in college, Moussan and her team stay up until 4 a.m. disassembling the entire show.

Not until the next day will it start to really set in for Moussan after spending half her time at Penn State in charge of one the largest student-run music festivals in the country.

“That’s also such a huge, rewarding piece, seeing everyone come together for this one common goal. It’s a really special thing to see,” Moussan said. “We’re all such different people with such different backgrounds, but you’re very much united in that passion for events and music.”

For Moussan, entering the music and event industry is the goal she has set for herself. Movin’ On gave her the foundation for that, being a part of the organization for the past four years, leading it for two, and rejoicing in it one more time.

“My top takeaway from [Movin’ On] is the people and relationships that I’ve been able to make through it,” Moussan said. “You’re meeting people that not only are going to be some of your closest friends, but a lot of these people have similar goals of entering the music industry or event industry.”

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About the Author

CJ Gill

CJ is a sophomore from McVeytown, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism and an associate editor at Onward State. He's a huge Phillies fan, which has its pro and cons come October. You can send all disagreements to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CJGill14.

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